Ericsson Holds Off O’Ward to Win 2022 Indianapolis 500

Ericsson Holds Off O’Ward to Win 2022 Indianapolis 500

by May 29, 2022 0 comments

It became evident very quickly in the month of May that Chip Ganassi Racing had some rocketships for the 500. Scott Dixon maybe more so than the rest after an all-time qualifying effort last weekend. But Tony Kannan, Alex Palou, Jimmie Johnson, and Marcus Ericsson all had legit speed as well. Each of those five ended up having a role to play today in the 106th Indianapolis 500. Only one of them could win, and that ended up being the native Swedsman in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda ride. Ericsson picks up career IndyCar win No. 3, as well as Indianapolis 500 win No. 5 for Chip Ganassi, first since 2012.

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The New Speedway Curse?

Something that helped Ericsson down the stretch was another brutal swing of luck for Dixon in an Indianapolis 500. On his final pitstop, the Iceman ended up getting caught for speeding after nearly spinning out getting down onto pit road. This all happing on the day the New Zealander broke the all-time record for laps led in the Indianapolis 500 as well.

Despite being one of IndyCar’s all-time greats, Dixon has not had a good time at the 500 since winning in 2008. In his last 10 tries, he has six finishes outside the top 10, five outside the top 15, and just two podium finishes. Not quite on the level of the Andretti Family curse, but worth noting. Additionally, Palou had some penalty issues as well after a strong early showing.

Teammate Nearly Costs Victory

With under 10 laps to go, Ericsson had cycled way out in front, nearly three seconds clear of Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP. what changed everything was Johnson making hard contact with the wall with six laps remaining. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion did not run anywhere near well as expected. Not only that, he ended up costing Ericsson the win in this race due to the ensuing red flag (which was the right call). This put Ericsson in the catbird seat in what was essentially a green-white-checkered in all but name.

Defensive Driving

This year’s Indianapolis 500 still ended up finishing under yellow, but not before Ericsson was still in the proverbial woods. O’Ward got a monster run down the front stretch, but Ericsson held him off weaving up and down the entire way. O’Ward then seemed to opt to not run around the outside and plan for one more run. That ended up not coming to pass, as Sage Karam brought out the final caution of the day off of turn two. After an excruciating 15-plus minutes, Ericsson sealed the deal.

Chip Likes Winners

Chip Ganassi, as most know by now, is in the business of winning automobile races. He hadn’t won the biggest event in Motorsports in nearly a decade before today. He came close last year with Palou, but Helio Castroneves was not to be denied. Not only is that streak broken, but he ended up with two podium cars with Kannan joining Ericsson. How the Swede performed under some of the most stressful circumstances imaginable may have him stick with CGR for a long while. Also helps that he jumps from 8th to 1st in the IndyCar Series points standings in one race as well.

2022 Indianapolis 500 Top 10

1st No. 8 Marcus Ericsson

2nd No. 5 Pato O’Ward

3rd No. 1 Tony Kannan

4th No. 7 Felix Rosenqvist

5th No. 27 Alexander Rossi

6th No. 20 Conor Daly

7th No. 06 Helio Castroneves

8th No. 60 Simon Pagenaud

9th No. 10 Alex Palou

10th No. 23 Santino Ferrucci

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images 

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